Good Evening Everyone!
Yesterday afternoon I was given the pleasure of meeting with a local and already seasoned hip-hop artist by the name of Justin “Young-ENT” Baines. A Montgomery native, his recently released album Stay True: The Album came out on March 31st and has taken off through the city since then! This album is VERY different and game changing and with it being the third album of it’s career, Stay True represents variously broad topics from being in love and in lust to staying true to who you are really are. Upon meeting with Young-ENT at Starbucks we decided to sit outside on a beautiful and sunny day to discuss his music and what motivated him to write Stay True…that is after I indulged in my new Starbucks addiction, the grande Tirimisu Frappucino! He is very calm and slightly shy in spirit as he assists me with opening the table umbrella for shade from the sun. Young-ENT immediately made me realize he was definitely a different breed than other local rappers in the city and portrayed exactly what reflects in his music…the cool everyday type of guy, living his life and trying to make it the only way that he knows…by working hard. His album certainly does not reflect laziness. He definitely is not a flashy dresser, he is not loud, he does not demand anyone’s attention, he is not cocky. He doesn’t have any witty sayings or quotes or tricks up his sleeve or out of the side of his head. He is straight forward and straight to the point with his responses and his demeanor…he is…himself. I shake his hand and humbly thank him for meeting with me. I am excited to have my second guest be someone that is a true hip-hop artist and makes the type of music that I can actually think about and relate to, not something that makes me feel practically “dumbed down” in the brain. Once we get comfortable and I am able to view my questions without squinting from the bright sun, I turn on my voice recorder and we decide to get started.
Robin: Hi, so state your name, age, and where you’re from.
Young-ENT: My rap name, Young-ENT. My real name is Justin Baines. I’m from Montgomery, AL. I’m actually thirty years old.
Robin: Thirty years old…
Young-ENT: Been doing it for a while.
Robin: Well…I’m glad I’m not there yet. (laughs) But I’ll twenty-seven next month. We’re here because we have this amazingly fresh and different new album out called Stay True: The Album. How long have you been doing music and what makes you want to do it?
Young-ENT: I been doing it for…I say fifteen years but really been recording since 2001.
Robin: So it’s been a while!
Young-ENT: It has been a while. 2001. I did my first song when I was sixteen back in 2001. I was really just playing around with it. I wanted to rap so bad.
Robin: So you’ve been wanting to do it since you were younger?
Young-ENT: Yeah, so when I was able…Well coming up I was the only child. I got a sister now, she’s actually 18. She came and kind of threw a wrench in that. It was a story behind it. I used to do it for fun, then I got a job and I was like “My first check, I’m going to the studio.” So that’s really what made me want to go to the studio. Just the work…just to see if I could actually do it myself. So my first song…I just took it from there.
Robin: OK. Well what inspired the album and it’s name?
Young-ENT: This album…this is my third album. I kind of went back to…I grew up on hip-hop! Really I grew up on a lot of stuff…Outkast, Goody Mob, I mean that’s southern and hip-hop to me. And also Jay-Z, Naz, a variety of different artists. But, my style is more of a…they want to say East coast, but I kind of call it Southern hip-hop. When they look at the South, they don’t really look at hip-hop.
Robin: Yeah. Cause I was just going to say that it sounds more hip-hop to me. As far as everyone else around here it’s rap or trap music.
Robin: And it’s about the same things. (laughs)
Young-ENT: I never done trap music. I mean people say I’ve got a Southern like voice, southern drawl, when I rap. But, you know, I try to touch on different subjects.
Robin: It’s not too heavy to where it sounds like totally county. I know some guys that sound just like…you can’t even understand what they’re saying.
Young-ENT: Yeah, but I always been like that. I mean I guess that’s why I put myself at a certain level. I’ve been doing it for so long and this album is growth, basically. It’s staying true to…it’s got a lot of meaning. Staying true to whatever you believe in, to yourself. Whatever! I feel like you thirty years old…this is a album you should be making.
Robin: Yeah. Nothing about childish things. None of that. You already been through all that clubbing…hoes…you’ve been through that. (laughs).
Young-ENT: I mean I don’t down people that do the certain “turn up” music and just music like that. But if you’re thirty years old, you’re album should sound like…
Robin: Your age!
Young-ENT: Yeah! Basically.
Robin: Right! (laughs) So what are some of your biggest influences in the music?
Young-ENT: Hm…like I said growing up listening to Jay-Z, Naz, Wu-Tang. I was a big fan on what I saw on t.v. I grew up watching videos. I come home from school I want to watch BET, MTV, and what they had on there.
Robin: 106 & Park
Young-ENT: (smile) Yeah! Even before that…Rap City and The Basement and stuff. I was like “Damn I wanna do that one day!” I used to be like “Who’s gonna be in the basement this week? I wanna do that.” And then just the videos! I started buying music at a young age. If I saw something I like on a video I like, I want to see who sings that and I want to know when the CD comes out so I can go to the store and buy the CD.
Robin: Yeah. Have you worked with any other local artists yet? Local or national?
Young-ENT: Not really, I mean I have a few artists that I worked with on the regular. Like some artists I grew up with…my friends, my peers. But as far anybody that’s known around here, not really. I was affiliated with The Southern Boys…you probably never heard of The Southern Boys.
Robin: Yeah I heard of them.
Young-ENT: I mean I did some stuff with them as far as performing and a couple of songs here and there. But basically it’s been all just me. My people.
Robin: How would you best describe your music and hip-hop style? We kind of just discussed it, but what do you call it. Is it hip-hop genre? Or you said Southern hip-hop?
Young-ENT: It’s hip-hop, rap. It’s what I think hip-hop should be. It’s like when you can touch on different topics in your music and it appeals to more than one type of…well I want to say people cause it’s different types of people. This is not an album you want to listen to when you get ready to go to the club. But if somebody just wants to just hear some genuine, real hip-hop music. Maybe you in the car, or you kicked back somewhere just chillin’ and you got your iPod, you might want to hear some real hip-hop music. You need to get my album.
Robin: Who are some of your favorite rappers today?
Young-ENT: Today? Big K.R.I.T. Big K.R.I.T. is my favorite. Because when I first heard his music, he caught my attention and then I’ve just followed him ever since then and I can relate to Big K.R.I.T. I can relate to him. I want somebody I can relate to cause a lot of this stuff you hear on the radio, a lot of the club records, and whatever…trap music. I can’t relate to that. I never sold a drug a day in my life. I never smoked weed. I never…ya know
Robin: Tried to be something you’re not (laughs)
Young-ENT: Yeah! Yeah! So you know, I can relate to Big K.R.I.T. I can relate to J. Cole. I like Kendrick Lamar…Wale.
Robin: Love Wale!
Young-ENT: Basically…that’s it.
Robin: How long have you lived in Montgomery?
Young ENT: All my life. Well I did move briefly to Maryland…for like three years. But I came back and yeah I been here…born and raised. Went to school here, graduated. All that stuff.
Robin: What would you say differentiates you from other artists? Like really stands out?
Young-ENT: I guess the topics I touch. Like if you listen to “Love vs. Lust” on my album…
Robin: Yeah, I like that song.
Young-ENT: The “Never Let You Go” record. The “Foolish Pride” record is my favorite. Sometimes you’ve got to step out of the norm. You’ve got to talk about different stuff. Everybody don’t want to hear about turning up in the club, and how many females you got, and what you’re smoking on. I mean, sometimes it’s like it wears out on you.
Robin: Explain “Love vs. Lust”. Cause I’m sorry, that’s my favorite one on the album and it sounds like you had some pain in there. I wanted to know what inspired that one.
Young-ENT: Really I try to look at people’s point of view. Somebody might be going through a situation like that. So I try to look at what people going through. Maybe they can feel the song. They can feel my music. But as far as the inspiration to that record…it was a record I was holding on…it really took me a while to kind of finish writing it. I got stuck on that. I had that first verse, it came so quick. Then I was working on that second verse, “Like man how can I finish this?” So I kind of went to…I wanted to show both point of views of the male. Like “Maybe it’s you…or maybe it’s me.” You’ve got to listen to it. Maybe if you listen the song a few times…you’ll get it. Yeah you’ll feel it.
Robin: Yeah I got that. So what are your future plans or what are your future projects coming up?
Young-ENT: Right now I’m pushing this. It just came out last week. I’ve been getting a good response, I’m just trying to get it out there to a more broader audience, just not locally. It’s on iTunes, Google Play, it’s all over. Really trying to build my own Empire, one man empire, so to speak. And you know…who knows? Record labels might come. But the thing about that…people don’t like to buy music no more. So you really gotta…I don’t want to force nobody to buy it, but I want to get them to the point where “man he’s good, maybe I buy his music.” So I mean, this is like the best work I’ve done, I would say, out of everything I’ve done. So who knows what’s next? I mean I said this was gone be my last one, but I’ve actually been working on some stuff…writing still.
Robin: What audience are you really trying to reach? What’s your main focus point as far as you getting your music out?
Young-ENT: Really my age and up. I try not to stick to one age group, but I just feel like people that’s thirty and older have been taken…you know, drawn in to my music. I feel like somebody eighteen, nineteen, and twenty won’t understand my music. They won’t understand this album. Like I’ve made songs in the past like club records or female friendly records, something they’d play on the radio. I’ve made those songs in the past. I feel like this album…I wasn’t shooting for no singles. I wasn’t shooting for radio play…I just want make a full body of work that I could be proud of and somebody can listen to it. And I want to draw those fans, those genuine fans, of hip-hop music to a new artist basically.
Robin: OK.Well that’s all the questions I have, but if you anything that you wanted everyone to know about you that you wanted to describe about yourself, about your music, what would you say?
Young-ENT: Just go get the album. I mean it’s real music, genuine. I think it’s something you can listen to from track one to track twelve and just go right through it. I like to give it the car test before I put it out. I get the finished product, put it in the car and I ride and if I can play that album through and through without skipping a song and just feel that vibe, then it’s good to go. I feel like for the majority of people who like hip-hop music, rap music and not the trap music, not the club music…then you’re going to like my album!
Robin: Well I think we’ve got everything! Thank you so much for meeting with me.
Young-ENT: Appreciate it.
If you have not already got it, please make sure that you get Young-ENT’s album Stay True: The Album and show your support for his music!
Click the link below to listen to Stay True: The Album
Young Ent on Spotify:
http://open.spotify.com/album/1uZPMGKvnAiiktHjht46LmYou can also tune in to The Vision LIVE Video Blog this Friday at 7 p.m. to catch him personally discussing his album on camera and answering to any questions or comments that you may have!! SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY!!!
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/7ixcK8JKTtg
Google+ Link: https://plus.google.com/events/cegubifg3nb5t69e6l9brf8bhk0
Solidify Your Life!!!